Someone truly said, “Your reputation walks 2 feet ahead of you”. Reputation, like you, is a real entity. It represents the unified mental construct everyone shares about you. Is it easy to build a positive reputation? No. It can take years to place your brand on top of the heap and be distinguished. Even then, a minor blunder or a moment of indecisiveness can cause your reputation to fall flat on its face.
Why do businesses rely on reputation?
Curating a positive reputation is different than simply leaving it up to the opinions of others. Though an intangible concept, a good reputation can help an organization achieve its objectives.
In their endeavor to be successful, businesses constantly rely on solely one factor- customers! Is the business getting new customers? Can its first-time customers be converted into regular ones? Are its loyal customers able to attract new customers? A customer always prefers a company with a good reputation over companies selling the same product or services at different prices.
How to build a strong business reputation
Your reputation is a combination of what your business does and what people say about you. At the start, building a solid reputation might seem like herculean task, but in reality, it is same as building your business.: the output depends on the quality of input you give.
Here are some DOs for maintaining a good reputation:
Keep your promise
A customer is bound to be impressed if you deliver great products and services under promised conditions.This ‘keep your word, no matter what’ attitude helps solidify relations with your customers and garners trust among them.
Go beyond the ordinary
Surprise your customers by delivering more than was expected. Offering free services to customers and paying attention to their unique preferences can go a long way towards establishing your company’s reputation in the market.
Let your customers know their importance by regularly returning their calls and addressing their feedback with clear, concise and to the point conversations.
Resolve problems quickly
First, take full responsibility for any issues that arise–never blame the customer. Next, do your best to find a thorough resolution as fast as possible.Your prompt and constant efforts to resolve a customer’s issue can turn him/her into your ardent supporter and promoter.
What constitutes your online reputation?
Before the advent of social media, the reputation of businesses mostly relied on word of mouth publicity or marketing campaigns carried out by shelling out huge amounts of money. But now ‘word of mouth’ has been replaced by ‘word of mouse’. Your company’s reputation can be decided with a simple click. Moreover, company blogs, websites, customer review sites, vlogs etc. have added to the online reputation arsenal.
Customers now have a free hand to express their feelings about a specific service of a company. Their views can make or break brand reputation in the eyes of not only other customers but also the trade groups, influencers, community members, competitors and others with whom the company frequently interacts.
The benefits of a good reputation
Combats negative criticism
A good reputation can come to your rescue when some external factors starts to malign you or your business. The loyal network you’ve built up will rise to your defense without you even asking. It’s a simple give and take relationship. Your customers will stand up for your reputation if you have taken care of theirs.
Sets a target
Let it serve as motivator for constant improvement rather than assuming your ratings will stay high on their own. The higher you set the bar, the higher customers’ expectations become, so it’s important to always aim to outdo yourself.
Serves as a powerful marketing tool
When your customer finds that your services outperform those of your competitors, the customer becomes yours forever. The same customer can then become an advocate of your capabilities or services by sharing their experiences on review sites and social media, and can convert prospects into customers much more effectively than a heavily spent advertising campaign would. A tool like BirdEye lets you amplify happy customer voices by automatically promoting your best reviews to your social channels.
Attracts great talent
Everybody wants to work for a company whose reputation roars of success. Young employees are driven by the name what they associate with it. As the talent pool inside the company grows, the company has the stability and expertise required for continued success in the future.
Positions you as an industry leader
A good reputation instills the perception into peoples’ mind of you being a harbinger in your respective field. This publicity makes others look up to you and separates you from the rest.
Lastly, a good reputation inspires others. We all need positive role models, even the best and brightest among us.